One of my favorite parts of traveling (and life in general) is learning about the uniqueness and commonalities of cultures. This fascination has grown over time as I have sought to develop and nurture a more meaningful connection with myself and my surroundings. The journey is always evolving and I find that the more open I am to learning, the more learning opportunities seem to find me.
Living in the western hemisphere but having traveled to and developing a deep appreciation for the cultures in the eastern hemisphere, I am inspired to integrate ideologies, methods, and practices that contribute to me becoming a better version of myself daily. For me, this includes prayer, fasting, meditation, awareness of self and surroundings, traveling, always learning, setting goals and intentions, and taking time to reflect on my experiences to find the (sometimes hidden) lesson.
I recently met Dr. Charlene M. Brown (known professionally as Dr. Charli Brown) who showed me that the pursuit I am on has a name and is studied both academically and professionally. This is the practice of Transpersonal Psychology.
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What Is Transpersonal Psychology?
If Transpersonal Psychology is a new term for you, as it is for me, you may be surprised to know that the term was first introduced in the 1960s. According to Dr. Charli Brown, "Transpersonal Psychology is a discipline that focuses on how the connectedness of the mind, body, and spirit play out in a person’s life. While traditional psychology asks, 'What is wrong with your head or brain?,' transpersonal psychology asks instead, 'What experiences have you had that are now affecting what’s happening in your mind, body, spirit,' and I’m going to include environment as well."
So what does that mean in a practical sense? According to Dr. Charli Brown, this field of study and practice looks at “how we connect and get to be our whole selves.” Transpersonal literally means beyond and through the self. As I have personally experienced, focusing on practices like breathwork and meditation help connect the mind and body, and these are some of the techniques used by practitioners of Transpersonal Psychology.
The study goes even deeper, though, and I find it to be a beautiful combination of western and eastern society ideas with how to deal with trauma, finding a deeper sense of purpose, and has applications for individuals and businesses (both large and small). In my pursuit of having a more balanced life, I have found things that have helped me. I am able to work through some things on my own, but there are also times we need to lean on professionals who can guide us through this process.
Learn More About Dr. Charli Brown
Dr. Charlene M. Brown (known professionally as Dr. Charli Brown) is a Transformational Coach who uses her training and experience to help people (mostly women) become the best version of themselves. She does this by acting as a “Spiritual Midwife” and “Sacred Mirror'' to guide her clients to better understand themselves and then guiding them through achieving their personal goals.
Dr. Charli is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is now based in the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina area. “As a little girl,” she told me, “I always wanted to be in charge.” This is likely why her undergraduate education is in Business Administration and Management from Howard University. After undergrad she was adamant that she’d never go to grad school but the people around her knew that she eventually would. That’s because she has always had a love for information, for its own sake, and for sharing it with others.
Undergrad taught Dr. Charli how to be a successful black woman in business, but she felt called to go deeper. When looking into grad school options, she wanted to find a program centered around women and/or youth studies. This led her to the Bay Area where she studied Women’s Spirituality at Sofia University (formerly The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology), with a focus on Creative Expression. She later earned her Ph.D in Integral and Transpersonal Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies.
According to Dr. Charli, transpersonal means “connecting mind, body, and spirit and then integrating this connection into our daily lives.” This work is helpful for individuals and businesses seeking guidance through difficult times, points of transition, or proactively in pursuit of finding and fulfilling their higher purpose.
Dr. Charli says she learned a lot about herself while in graduate and post-graduate school; partly through her studies but also partly through being and feeling like an outsider in the Bay Area. “I am considered ‘direct’ as an east coaster and ‘very direct’ as a west coaster,” Dr. Charli told me. She noted that the cultural differences between the east and west coast were very difficult for her. On one hand, folks in California were very open and respectful when it came to things like learning/using your pronouns and understanding your ethic makeup yet, she felt, were very hard to connect with otherwise.
As someone who moved to California in pursuit of learning more about the connection between self and environment, she felt very out of place. While school “felt like home” for Dr. Charli, the Bay Area itself did not. “There were instances where I had to meet someone up to ten times in social settings before they invited me to get to know them more personally, and I’m just not used to that.”
After completing her Ph.D in 2018, Dr. Charli Brown put her experience and skills of Transpersonal Psychology to work opening up her own practice. She is now a consultant for individuals and businesses who are looking to “get unstuck” and move forward. Additionally, Dr. Charli is an adjunct professor at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania where she leads courses such as Psychology of Women and Introduction to Applied Supervision.
Working With Dr. Charli Brown
Transpersonal Psychology is for most people, but it is not for everyone. If you feel you need professional help with your mental health, be sure to speak to a licensed therapist, counselor, clinically licensed psychologist, or a psychiatrist. However, if you feel you are ready to look into the “sacred mirror” and get guidance on how to show up authentically and transform into the best version of yourself, consider working with Dr. Charli Brown.
Dr. Charli has over 20 years of experience being immersed in the metaphysical and spiritual worlds. She uses her training and experience to apply high-level concepts and theories into user-friendly practical tools that can aid individuals and businesses learn more about themselves and how to push through to the next level.
“We are in a moment where things seem to be bursting at the seams,” Dr. Charli says, “and I can offer a point of reflection, a name for what you’re going through, and resources to work through those things.” Dr. Charli’s self-proclaimed super power is giving people the feeling that they can be open and honest with her. She can help synthesize what you’re feeling and help you clear the fog to gain alignment between your mind, body, spirit, and your environment.
If you want to start doing this work on your own, Dr. Charli has a couple of online resources you can leverage.
Courses To Try:
If you represent a business or an organization who can benefit from your teams learning more about themselves and how to work better with one another, consider Dr. Charli and the practice of Transpersonal Psychology. In my own experience I have found that through connecting more with myself gives me more empathy for others and what they are going through. This has helped me be a better leader and motivates me to continue seeking to be the best version of myself.